Government of Canada

Government of Canada

April 27, 2009 12:43 ET

Government of Canada Supports the Shaw Festival

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 27, 2009) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the Government of Canada's investment of more than $2 million to support the Shaw Festival.

"This funding is exciting news to all those involved in Niagara-on-the-Lake's Shaw Festival," said Minister Nicholson. "The Marquee Tourism Events Program has highlighted the Canadian government's recognition of the immense impact the Shaw Festival, and other such marquee events, has on the visitor economy."

The Marquee Tourism Events Program (MTEP) is a Government of Canada initiative under Canada's Economic Action Plan designed to provide $100 million in funding over two years for marquee tourism events in support of the visitor economy. This program will help events that attract a large number of international visitors to maintain and enhance their appeal. It will also help events that are established nationally to gain an international presence.

The program is divided into several funding streams - beginning with the Summer 2009 one-time injection of funds. A call for proposals with a deadline of May 8, 2009, has been issued for tourism events that meet the eligibility criteria for the next phase of the program. An additional call for proposals will be announced in fall 2009.

"The Shaw Festival is thrilled to receive this significant grant from the Government of Canada during this challenging economic time," said Executive Director Colleen Blake. "Not only will this funding assist the Shaw Festival in extending its marketing efforts to increase the visibility of our events both national and internationally, but we are confident this injection of support will also have a positive economic impact for our community partners and the entire Niagara region."

The Shaw Festival is the only theatre in the world specializing exclusively in plays by George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries or plays that are set in the period of Shaw's lifetime. Visitors from all over Canada, the United States and overseas attend its performances each year from April to October. The Shaw Festival will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011.

The new funding includes support for enhanced multimedia marketing and promotion activities designed to increase the visibility of Shaw Festival events in Canada, the United States and around the world and to draw more visitors to the Niagara region. To do this, the Shaw Festival will offer additional promotions and packages in partnership with local hotels, wineries and restaurants. These and other funding activities will support and promote great theatre in the heart of Niagara wine country.

The recipients of this funding stream put forth proposals to the Government of Canada that met the eligibility criteria and objectives of the program. The Shaw Festival is just one of Canada's annual, world-class marquee tourism events that have been granted funding under the Summer 2009 MTEP funding stream.

Today's other recipients of the Summer 2009 MTEP funding stream are:

- The Calgary Stampede,

- The Charlottetown Festival,

- The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival,

- Le Festival d'ete de Quebec,

- Le Festival International de Jazz de Montreal,

- The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and

- The Toronto International Film Festival.

The MTEP complements the numerous federally funded, tourism-related programs that are part of the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan. These programs, which provide measures to support Canada's economy, stimulate the growth of tourism and contribute to the development of Canada's visitor economy over the long term, include:

- $40 million over two years to the Canadian Tourism Commission for domestic and international marketing; and

- $150 million over two years for national parks and historic sites.

For more information, please visit the Industry Canada website at

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Diane Ablonczy
    Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Catherine Godbout
    613-668-5406 (cell)
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations